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New mechanical Mac keyboard review
Posted by: Marc Anthony
Date: September 26, 2021 08:24PM
I’ve had an Apple "crumb tray" keyboard for years that now has a couple sticking keys from being increasingly filthy, so it’s time to retire it. I’ve never owned a mechanical keyboard before, but I scoured the internet for information on some possibilities, and the replacement arrived a few hours ago. I settled on the Keychron C2, and I generally like and could recommend it.

The good:
This is a full sized keyboard with a tenkey pad, and it’s one of the few mechanical versions I found that comes in the Mac layout. It wasn’t exorbitantly expensive at ~$75.00; another Apple version would cost more and have fewer features. The default color scheme is nice, and, overall, it looks and feels decent. It’s hot-swappable, so you can easily change out the switches, and the version I ordered comes with a RGB backlight that can be set to a number of solid colors, including a neutral white or a rainbow; there are also moving light patterns that you can elect to use, assuming you aren’t epileptic.

The bad:
You pretty much have to use the backlight unless you have a nearby lamp, as there's limited legibility on the dark gray on black keys without illumination. The default Gateron brown switches are serviceable, but I think I would have preferred something with more auditory and tactile feedback; I may replace them with Kailh box whites.

The ugly:
For some reason, the text on keys that are modified by the shift key have their alternate text printed to the right side; e.g. "1!" instead of ! over the 1. It's a little confusing, but could be remedied easily with a cap change.



Le poète doit vivre beaucoup, vivre dans tous les sens. - Verlaine
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Re: New mechanical Mac keyboard review
Posted by: Robert M
Date: September 27, 2021 06:26AM
Marc,

Looks decent. Can't say I'm a fan of the color scheme but that's a personal thing. How is the build quality? Does it handle boot commands and keyboard-based text selection commands properly?

The first can be issues with non-Apple keyboards. Easily resolved, though. The second issue is less common and a huge annoyance if you can't resolve it. See my posts about the Varmilo VA108M mechanical keyboard.

If you need switches, go to mechanicalkeyboards.com to check out what is out there. It's by far the best site when it comes to mechanical keyboards and their selection of keyboards and accessories is tough to beat.

Robert
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Re: New mechanical Mac keyboard review
Posted by: Marc Anthony
Date: September 27, 2021 07:25AM
Hi, Robert. The build quality overall seems really good. There's no flex in the case and no pings or other noise when bottoming out. The boot commands and text selections both work as expected. As I have no prior direct experience, I can't compare it to other mechanicals, but I would say that it appears initially to be the same quality as my old Apple board.



Le poète doit vivre beaucoup, vivre dans tous les sens. - Verlaine
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Re: New mechanical Mac keyboard review
Posted by: AllGold
Date: September 27, 2021 02:39PM
Hard to say just going from the photos but I’m guessing it has a lot more key travel than I’d like. The same was true of the crumb catcher keyboard—along with a mushy feel to boot.

Quite a few years ago I got used to the key travel and feel of PowerBook and MacBook Pro keyboards and opted to use similar keyboards on my desktop machines.



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